Gentoo Websites Logo
Go to: Gentoo Home Documentation Forums Lists Bugs Planet Store Wiki Get Gentoo!
Bug 48733 - The guide fails to mention how to set up FM MIDI on at least Sound blaster AWE 64 cards
Summary: The guide fails to mention how to set up FM MIDI on at least Sound blaster AW...
Alias: None
Product: [OLD] Docs-user
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Alsa Configuration Guide (show other bugs)
Hardware: All Linux
: High normal (vote)
Assignee: Docs Team
: 48731 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2004-04-22 14:51 UTC by Carl Olof Englund
Modified: 2007-06-28 09:00 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Package list:
Runtime testing required: ---


Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.
Description Carl Olof Englund 2004-04-22 14:51:47 UTC
I couldn't get my MIDI sound working (look at thread 16200, "Midi on Awe 64 value edition" where I'm trying to sort this out) but after digging around I found I could at least get FM MIDI by using the tool sbiload, like this:

sbiload -p 66:0 --opl3 /usr/kde/3.2/share/apps/kmid/fm/std.o3 /usr/kde/3.2/share/apps/kmid/fm/drums.o3

Reproducible: Always
Steps to Reproduce:
1.pmidi -p FMPORT:X midifile.mid

Actual Results:  
No music

Expected Results:  
Played FM midi

Bug #48731 is also related to this.

Portage 2.0.50-r6 (default-x86-2004.0, gcc-3.3.2, glibc-2.3.2-r9, 2.4.25-gentoo)
System uname: 2.4.25-gentoo i586 AMD-K6(tm) 3D processor
Gentoo Base System version
distcc 2.13 i586-pc-linux-gnu (protocols 1 and 2) (default port 3632) [enabled]
Autoconf: sys-devel/autoconf-2.58-r1
Automake: sys-devel/automake-1.8.3
CFLAGS="-march=k6-2 -O3 -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"
CONFIG_PROTECT="/etc /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb /usr/kde/2/share/config
/usr/kde/3.2/share/config /usr/kde/3/share/config /usr/share/config
CONFIG_PROTECT_MASK="/etc/gconf /etc/terminfo /etc/env.d"
CXXFLAGS="-march=k6-2 -O3 -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"
FEATURES="autoaddcvs ccache distcc sandbox"
USE="3dfx 3dnow X aalib alsa apm arts avi berkdb crypt cups dga encode esd
foomaticdb gdbm gif gnome gpm gtk gtk2 imlib jabber java jikes jpeg libg++
libwww mad mikmod mmx motif mpeg ncurses nls oggvorbis opengl oss pam pdflib
perl png python quicktime readline samba sdl slang spell ssl svga tcltk tcpd
truetype video_cards_3dfx voodoo3 x86 xml2 xmms xv zlib"
Comment 1 Sven Vermeulen (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-04-25 09:02:28 UTC
sbiload is a tool like pmidi, right? In other words, it's not setup-related (timidity++, awesfx, ...) but use-related.

Can you give me a bit more pointers on how you'd like to see this mentioned in the alsa configuration? Also take a look at which will become the next official location for ALSA sound documentation.
Comment 2 Carl Olof Englund 2004-04-25 14:43:33 UTC
I'm not sure what you mean but but pmidi has its own ebuild while sbiload is part of alsa-tools.. The draft for new a document on configuring ALSA seems good enough, but somewhere in the "Activating MIDI support" section I feel there should be a part called "activating FM midi for Soundblaster cards" (or something similar).

As it is now, to get FM sound working you also need kmid installed (part of kdemultimedia?) to get the two .o3 files that's needed. This isn't very good for non-KDE users but I think this can be corrected in the ebuild for alsa-tools. I think the two .o3 files are normally distributed along with the sbiload utility.
Comment 3 Sven Vermeulen (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-07-02 06:51:29 UTC

I've added a section on setting up OPL3 (whatever that is) but because it's not my territory, I'm not going to commit as long as I don't have a go from someone more into all this.

Sound team: can anyone of you enlighten me on this OPL3-stuff and what needs to be done to get the ALSA Guide in optimal shape?
Comment 4 Jeremy Huddleston (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-07-02 13:51:54 UTC
*** Bug 48731 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 5 Jeremy Huddleston (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-07-02 14:06:58 UTC
swift: take a look at the dup'd bug.  Carl explained the differences between Wavetable and FM midi pretty well.  I was just waiting for him to update the attatchment so I could read it and propose the fixes to the ALSA guide.

I would rename the sections like this:

Setting Up MIDI
 * Setting Up Wavetable MIDI (sbiload)
 * Setting Up FM MIDI (awesfx or sfxload)
 * Setting Up the Timidity++ Virtual Synthesizer
 * Testing MIDI support

You can get the .o3 files at rather than needing kdemultimedia.

In the timidity section, get rid of the 'A sample configuration is provided in ...'.  Change the section on the configuration file to this:

When youu emerge timidity++, a default configuration is provided at /etc/timidity.cfg which you can edit to reference your soundfonts.  If you do not have any soundfonts, you can emerge timidity-eawpatches which will install soundfonts and overwrite this default timidity.cfg file to reference them.

In the FM MIDI section, mention that the steps can be accomplished using sfxload from alsa-tools, but we will demonstrate how to do it using awesfx
Comment 6 Frank van de Pol (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-07-02 17:16:00 UTC
hey Jeremy, I suppose all the hard work you did caused you to mix up the utilities :-)

the sfxload is used to load soundfonts into wavetable synths
the sbiload is used to load OPL3 FM instruments

Comment 7 Jeremy Huddleston (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-07-02 17:25:37 UTC
whoops... yes:

* Setting Up Wavetable MIDI (awesfx or sfxload)
* Setting Up FM MIDI (sbiload)
Comment 8 Carl Olof Englund 2004-07-03 02:46:19 UTC
Hi guys!

Sorry I haven't been active dealing with this..haven't been doing much else, either. :-/ Anyway, you seem to be all over it but don't forget that there's also the command "asfxload". I just had a look at the binaries for sfxload and sfxload - same size, same date, version 0.5.0b. And both are installed from emergeing awesfx! Weird. Why shouldn't asfxload be in alsa-tools instead?

I found this important note after Googling and landing on:

"sfxload requires OSS emulation and may therefore not be suitable for a couple of people. Takashi Iwai has made an update to the awesfx package (2004/02/24 => 0.5.0a) which introduces 'asfxload'. This uses native alsa functions to load the soundfonts. It can be found on his page:
Please note that it requires at least alsa-lib 1.0.2."

Soo..I guess "asfxload" would be the correct command to use since we're making changes to the ALSA guide.
Comment 9 Sven Vermeulen (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-07-28 09:11:01 UTC
My mind is too small to understand ALSA stuff. If someone else can take this from me?
Comment 10 Sven Vermeulen (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-08-11 06:48:56 UTC
Guess not. Could anyone take the sourcecode of the current ALSA guide (, modify it so it fixes this problem (and only this problem, so that the differences provided by "diff" are comprehensible) and attach it to this bug?

The format used by the guide is fairly simple (especially if you take a look at the existing guide - just copy/paste and change :) and you don't have to make it perfect - we'll do the fixing for you so that it is 100% valid GuideXML.
Comment 11 Sven Vermeulen (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2004-12-02 08:55:07 UTC
Time-out on the bug. Marking as later. Keeping bug in mind (mentioned in metadoc)
Comment 12 nm (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2007-06-28 09:00:12 UTC
Reopening for proper closure.
Comment 13 nm (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2007-06-28 09:00:32 UTC
No need for LATER; this won't be fixed at all.